Tag Archives: American Bar Association

Afghan lawyers and judges in danger

24/01/23

Today, January 24, marks the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. As a Canadian lawyer I want to draw attention to the challenges facing some members of the legal profession in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban government assumed power in the country more than a year ago, the risk of retaliation and danger have only increased for many lawyers and judges, particularly women, advocates say.

For Nasrin (whose name has been changed to protect her identity), leaving Afghanistan was the last resort.

She had spent decades developing pioneering legislation and policies as a judge and legal advocate. When the Taliban took over in August 2021, everything changed. Facing death threats, she ultimately left. “I didn’t have any choice,” she told me. “I left my country, my house.” Now she and other legal activists are warning about the ever-increasing risks that lawyers and judges in the country still face and the need for countries like Canada to step up their efforts to help at-risk Afghans.

“If a woman wants to be a leader, like head of a court … it’s a very big position, but it is very dangerous,” Nasrin says.

Judges like Nasrin, as well as prosecutors, have been threatened with reprisals from the people they tried and the Taliban themselves. She is in contact with colleagues in the legal profession who remain in Afghanistan, and says the situation is worse than a year ago, as lawyers and judges fear for their safety.

“The first line is judges, the second line is defence lawyers and prosecutors … they are searching to find them,” she says.

The development of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) in 2008 was part of a broader effort to build a non-governmental body that would regulate the legal profession and provide resources to support lawyers and access to legal services. But in November 2021, it was dismantled by armed Taliban soldiers and the Ministry of Justice gained possession of the AIBA’s database, containing contact information of members. The organization is now relaunching itself in exile, from Brussels.

[…]

https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/articles/43037/afghan-lawyers-and-judges-in-danger

https://amu.tv/en/33506/

International Day Of The Endangered Lawyer: “We Strongly And Unequivocally Condemn The Repressive Tendencies Of The Taliban Government In Afghanistan Towards Lawyers”- Maikyau

https://lso.ca/gazette/news/day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-2023?lang=en-ca

https://charidy.com/AfghanWomen (PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!)

https://zoom.us/rec/play/WXkxEyYXv5ZAen7O2varh9Ki_B7qCitqQjoNfZxmRrIZ6cITp1qWQ2dVYg1gYRYVLDVbuCHwW8XY1E3J.ZdDtRYfefnwmvALj

https://www.irishlegal.com/articles/afghan-women-judges-were-hunted-by-taliban-before-relocating-to-ireland

https://intr2dok.vifa-recht.de/receive/mir_mods_00014968

https://www.americanbar.org/advocacy/rule_of_law/blog/just-security-article-lawyers-under-threat/

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/global-rescue-effort-tries-to-help-afghans-female-judges-escape-the-taliban-regime

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/outrage-as-afghan-judge-denied-permission-to-enter-uk/5114917.article

https://punchng.com/nba-president-demands-end-to-extrajudicial-killings/

https://acrobat.adobe.com/id/urn:aaid:sc:EU:08f72d25-58c0-446c-888a-b56489eeb4da?viewer%21megaVerb=group-discover#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

https://www.darivoa.com/amp/lawyers-in-Afghanistan-face-threats/6933046.html (DARI)

https://www.pashtovoa.com/a/us-special-envoy-for-afghan-women-says-will-stand-with-afghan-lawyers/6933080.html (PASHTO)

https://www.lextimes.fr/actualites/avocats-en-danger/treizieme-edition-consacree-lafghanistan (FRANCAIS)

https://www.tdg.ch/de-nombreuses-avocates-sont-menacees-de-mort-par-les-talibans-911401131682

https://lso.ca/gazette/nouvelles/journee-de-l%E2%80%99avocat-en-danger-2023

https://www.lexisnexislegalawards.co.uk/website/9292/shortlist/

Afghanistan: DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2023

24/01/23

The FBE supports all those in danger in Afghanistan.  Since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban in 2021, the situation of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors in Afghanistan has worsened. Many were left stranded when Government evacuation efforts ended. The international  legal community campaigns to persuade governments to rescue legal professionals at risk. However, most governments evacuated their own nationals and those who had been employed by the respective Government or related bodies. Most Afghan legal professionals did not fall into either category, even though they had served those Governments’ interests by upholding the rule of law in their country. Many were actively involved in the prosecution of members of the Taliban and  are in great danger. The international legal community must act now to persuade more assistance to evacuate lawyers, prosecutors, judges and legal professionals at risk and to offer safe havens in their respective countries.

The FBE endorses the report of the Coalition for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer and urges all to implement recommendations in particular:

  • The international community, in their diplomatic efforts toward the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, are urged to ensure the maintenance of a free and independent legal profession, in order to safeguard fundamental rights, including women’s rights, the independence and integrity of the administration of justice, and the rule of law.
  • The international community is urged to take all necessary measures to ensure that the lawyers at risk who remain in Afghanistan can safely leave the country. In particular:
  • To immediately implement evacuation and resettlement programmes for Afghan lawyers remaining in Afghanistan or located in neighboring countries.
  • To ensure respect for the principle of non-refoulement at all times.
  • To make humanitarian visas available to enable Afghan lawyers in need to access international protection legally and safely.
  • To ensure that all States suspend deportations and summary returns of Afghan nationals to Afghanistan or third states.
  •  To ensure that all States thoroughly investigate allegations of ill-treatment of Afghan nationals, especially in the States’ border regions and in removal centers in their territories.

[…]

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/news-and-events/blogs-opinions/danger-to-lawyers-at-home-and-abroad-must-be-tackled-by-us-all/

https://www.nycbar.org/media-listing/media/detail/day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-afghanistan-2023

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/2023/january/international-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer

https://www.uianet.org/en/actions/13th-day-endangered-lawyer-focus-afghanistan

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2023/01/aba-president-statement-re-endangered-lawyer/

https://2k86.mj.am/nl3/9MUI9jpjAKJgvmFwBU6sEA (FRANCAIS)

London: a Human Rights Solidarity and Arrested Lawyers Initiative action

Brussels (Facebook, CCBE – Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe )

Iran: Man left speechless following torture to be executed

20/01/23

Iran is to execute a 35-year-old mentally ill man on charges including apostasy and “insulting holy things”.

Javad Rouhi, a law graduate, is accused of burning the Quran as part of the protests triggered by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.

Mr Rouhi has not been given a lawyer of his choice and also suffers from severe mental illness. He has been tortured so badly that he cannot speak or walk and has become incontinent.

He was sentenced to death on 3 January on three generic charges: waging war against God, corruption on Earth, and apostasy – as well as the specific charge of inciting people to fight and kill each other.

His state-selected lawyer said in court: “Javad had separated from his wife due to mental illness and unemployment; in September, he had gone to Nowshahr to meet his ex-wife and try to bring her back. He didn’t have any money, so he had slept on the street during those few days in Nowshahr before his arrest.”

The Oslo-based Iran Human Rights said: “At least 109 protesters are currently at risk of execution, death penalty charges or sentences. This is a minimum, as most families are under pressure to stay quiet; the real number is believed to be much higher.”

https://www.irishlegal.com/articles/iran-man-left-speechless-following-torture-to-be-executed

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/19/iran-to-execute-mentally-ill-man-for-allegedly-burning-quran-during-protest

https://www.iranintl.com/en/202301105613

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2023/01/aba-president-statement-re-iran-protests/?login

https://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/moyen-orient/1674235863-iran-un-homme-qui-aurait-brule-un-coran-lors-d-une-manifestation-condamne-a-mort (FRANCAIS)

https://www.fanpage.it/esteri/liran-giustiziera-un-disabile-psichico-accusato-di-aver-preso-parte-alle-proteste-contro-il-regime/ (ITALIANO)

Afghanistan: International Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023

20/01/23

The 24th of January has been designated as the annual International Day of the Endangered Lawyer in memory of the “Massacre of Atocha” occurred this day in 1977 when four lawyers and a co-worker were murdered and four others were heavily injured at their address at Calle Atocha 55 in Madrid.  

The purpose of this International Day is to draw the attention of government officials, international institutions, civil society, the media and the general public to the plight of lawyers in a particular focus country, to raise awareness about the threats the lawyers in that country face in the exercise of their profession. 

This year, the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer focuses on Afghanistan. 

The Coalition for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer has prepared a report about the justice system in Afghanistan, describing the extremely dire situation confronting Afghan lawyers today. 

The European Young Bar Associations, as part of the Coalition, strongly supports the recommendations provided in the Report addressed to the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, the international community, the European Union and its Member States, in order to improve the situation of Afghan lawyers in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. 

In addition to the limitations on fundamental human rights and reprisals against lawyers, judges and prosecutors that should be condemned, as an association representing young lawyers, the EYBA express its concern especially for the limitations to education and access to the legal profession imposed by the Taliban’s Ministry of Justice which affect the new generations, more than others. 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (M.L.K).

Click here to download the full report:

Final version of the Report -Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023- 2 (1)

Click to access 202301-stm-sr-ijl-sr-afghanistan-day-endangered-lawyer.pdf

https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/01/1132662

https://www.globalissues.org/news/2023/01/20/32861

https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/politics/2326737-afghanistan-collapse-of-legal-system-is-human-rights-catastrophe

https://reliefweb.int/report/afghanistan/un-experts-legal-professionals-afghanistan-face-extreme-risks-need-urgent-international-support

https://www.bbc.com/persian/live/afghanistan-64329705 (DARI)

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/01/international-day-endangered-lawyer-24-january-2023 (FRANCAIS)

https://news.un.org/fr/story/2023/01/1131517

https://latribune.avocats.be/index.php/fr/journee-de-l-avocat-en-danger-dediee-aux-avocats-afghans

https://latribune.avocats.be/fr/du-cote-des-institutions-europeennes-janvier-2023

https://www.lemondedudroit.fr/institutions/83102-observatoire-international-avocats-danger-oiad-lance-campagne-soutien-plaidoyer-barreau-independant-afghanistan.html

https://www.abogacia.es/fr/actualidad/noticias/el-abogado-afgano-hossain-haydari-llega-a-espana-gracias-al-apoyo-de-la-fundacion-abogacia/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.elespanol.com/mujer/20230121/khadija-amin-periodista-refugiada-afgana-espana-prision/734926733_0.html

300 female judges in Afghanistan prior to Taliban capture, none now

23/12/22

Taliban rule in Afghanistan is brutally crushing women’s rights in the country. In August last year, right after capturing Afghanistan, the Talban had imposed restrictions on women’s education, employment, and travel, and had started changing the laws to imprison women inside their homes. To show the world, they took the support of clerics to implement their laws, and then imposed a ban on the women’s government and private sector jobs. To stop the women, the Taliban security forces intimidated women, arrested them, and even kidnapped them.

Khadija Ahmadi, Afghanistan’s women rights worker, said that the Taliban has stopped women from practicing as judges and lawyers in the courts. Prior to the Taliban’s capture of the country, there were around 300 women judges in Afghanistan, and due to the Taliban government, these women had to flee the country.

As per Khadija, the Taliban’s ways are serious as far as women’s social condition and psychological wellbeing is concerned, and the regime wants to establish women as second-class citizens in the country. Particularly, it wants young men and boys to become supremacists and women as objects of use for them and their homes. Because of the restrictions, thousands of families have fled to neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey, along with their women.

Pakistan is at the top of the list of countries where a large number of Afghan refugees reached during the last months. Many Afghan students are now studying in Pakistan.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/family-finally-arrives-in-edmonton-after-long-journey-from-afghanistan-1.6693300

https://www.ucalgary.ca/news/long-road-freedom-and-law-school-canada

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lawreport/afghanistan-women-judges/14102486

https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/12/1131907

https://reliefweb.int/report/afghanistan/comment-un-high-commissioner-human-rights-volker-turk-reported-ban-women-attending-university-afghanistan

https://unama.unmissions.org/un-afghanistan-condemns-taliban-decision-suspend-women-universities-and-calls-its-immediate-reversal

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/12/20/afghan-university-women-feared-dark-day

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-64045497

https://www-aljazeera-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2022/12/21/afghan-women-devastated-by-taliban-university-ban

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/afghan-women-weep-over-university-ban-as-taliban-begin-enforcement

https://www.wionews.com/south-asia/afghan-women-speak-to-wion-as-taliban-dismantles-their-right-to-education-campus-after-campus-545841

https://reliefweb.int/report/afghanistan/statement-response-further-restrictions-girls-education-afghanistan

https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAlc-irrzkqHNQeyYSBrVl9eRsWODVKuFtA

https://www.abajournal.com/news/article/5-aba-projects-that-got-off-the-ground-in-2022

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20221221-eye-for-an-eye-sharia-justice-returns-to-afghan-courts

https://www.ejiltalk.org/are-all-afghan-women-and-girls-refugees-an-analysis-in-light-of-the-refugee-convention/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-64065206

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-12-24/calls-ramp-up-to-increase-protection-visas-for/101807390

https://www.lalibre.be/international/asie/2022/12/21/bientot-les-talibans-diront-aux-femmes-quil-est-interdit-de-respirer-S7TA6KCYO5HW5FKTULHEZZDQOY/ (FRANCAIS)

Iran: Nasrin Sotoudeh returns to jail while at least 3 more rights lawyers arrested

08/10/22

https://www.nycbar.org/member-and-career-services/committees/reports-listing/reports/detail/statement-of-the-new-york-city-bar-association-on-the-imprisonment-of-human-rights-lawyer-nasrin-sotoudeh-and-other-human-rights-defenders-in-iran

https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2021/6096096/nasrin-sotoudeh/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/07/iran-protests-mahsa-amini-arrests/

https://www.iranintl.com/en/202210077714

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/3136

https://www.omct.org/en/resources/statements/iran-alarm-over-mass-arrests-of-human-rights-defenders-amidst-protests

https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2022/10/why-irans-judicial-system-is-stacked-against-protestors-who-despite-constitutional-protection-face-execution-for-their-beliefs/

https://www.nycbar.org/media-listing/media/detail/city-bar-supports-imprisoned-iranian-lawyer-nasrin-sotoudeh-with-1minute4nasrin-video

https://www.nycbar.org/media-listing/media/detail/new-york-city-bar-association-statement-urging-release-from-prison-of-nasrin-sotoudeh-and-others-as-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-marks-nowruz

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/human_rights/events/eleanor-roosevelt-prize-for-global-human-rights-advancement/virtual2020erprizeawards/nasrinsotoudeh/

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/human_rights/events/eleanor-roosevelt-prize-for-global-human-rights-advancement/

https://www.abajournal.com/news/article/jailed_iranian_lawyer_awarded_eus_sakharov_prize

https://www.paris-normandie.fr/id348336/article/2022-10-05/un-avocat-de-rouen-lorigine-de-la-video-ou-des-artistes-francaises-se-coupent (FRANCAIS)

https://www.ouest-france.fr/leditiondusoir/2022-10-06/l-avocat-rouennais-richard-sedillot-raconte-l-origine-de-la-video-de-soutien-aux-iraniennes-1b371483-0e19-47b9-bc4d-4cfd9fd8c5a9

https://www.ouest-france.fr/normandie/caen-14000/justice-le-barreau-de-caen-solidaire-des-avocats-iraniens-a81f947c-44d5-11ed-921f-8a68cbe64445

https://www.liberation.fr/idees-et-debats/tribunes/marchons-pour-soutenir-le-peuple-iranien-dans-sa-quete-de-liberte-20221001_F5ZJLDJHCVDLPIQX3Z4H4HNXGI/

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/3137 (ARABIC)

ABA project aims to help Afghan legal professionals establish themselves in the United States

23/08/22

In the weeks following the one-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban on Aug. 15, the ABA Journal is highlighting the ABA’s efforts to help judges and lawyers from Afghanistan resettle, obtain immigration benefits and secure jobs using their legal skills. This is part one in our series.

In early November, Michael Byowitz attended a virtual program called “Women Judges of Afghanistan: A Call to Action,” and heard the harrowing stories of female judges who fled Afghanistan as the Taliban took over their country.

The program, which was sponsored by the International Law Section’s International Human Rights Committee and featured speakers from the International Association of Women Judges, also described the work of non-governmental organizations to help these judges first find temporary refuge in other countries before resettling in the United States.

“Toward the end of the program, I asked a question, and the question was, ‘What are these people going to do for work when they get resettled? How are they going to make a living?’” says Byowitz, of counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York City. “And I specifically asked if there was a route for them to qualify for jobs in the U.S. legal profession, either as lawyers or in other law-related capacities.”

Byowitz, a past ILS chair, had a potential solution in mind. He proposed connecting the Afghan judges with LLM programs—one-year graduate legal studies programs that expose international students to U.S. law systems and legal reasoning. Some states, including California and New York, allow international students who earn an LLM degree to then sit for their bar exams.

He reached out to then-ABA President Reginald Turner and Executive Director Jack Rives, who told him about the ABA Afghanistan Response Project, an initiative a group of entities, members and staff established in August 2021 to assist with the growing humanitarian crisis. Byowitz shared his plan at one of its meetings and got the green light from then-ILS chair Nancy Stafford to work with their colleagues to put it into action.

Byowitz helped launch the Afghan Professionals Resettlement Task Force, which proposed a pilot program to identify a small number of candidates who are interested in obtaining LLM degrees, taking the bar exam and joining the U.S. legal profession. In June, the Board of Governors approved the pilot program, which will focus primarily on female Afghan judges, prosecutors and lawyers.

“Afghan judges, prosecutors and lawyers are highly educated, trained people who have held positions of substantial responsibility,” Byowitz says. “To utilize their skills to the best advantage for them and for the United States, we should have a program like this.”

[…]

https://www.abajournal.com/web/article/aba-project-aims-to-provide-afghan-legal-professionals-with-tuition-and-expenses-for-llm-programs

https://www.law360.com/access-to-justice/articles/1523654/ex-afghan-prosecutor-who-fled-taliban-to-lecture-at-loyola

https://www.kpbs.org/news/local/2022/08/23/many-afghans-in-limbo-year-after-american-evacuation

https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/chute-de-kaboul-un-apres-que-pouvons-nous-faire (FRANCAIS)

USA: A Chilling Assassination in Wisconsin

05/06/22

Could the killing of a retired judge in Wisconsin signal more attacks to come?

Any individual murder in the United States right now is unlikely to make much of an impression—not when elderly Black people at a grocery store or young children at school are being gunned down in large groups. But the Friday murder of a retired judge in Wisconsin is ominous enough to give some pause.

Although little is known so far, authorities say they believe that the killing was politically motivated. The victim, Jack Roemer, 68, had served on the local circuit court. Police said he was found tied to a chair and shot at his home. (The alleged assassin was found with a self-inflicted wound and hospitalized.) What relationship, if any, the two men had is not clear—“It appears to be related to the judicial system,” Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said in a news conference—but the suspect also had a list of other potential targets, which news outlets have reported to include Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat; Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, also a Democrat; and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican.

Given McConnell’s presence, that list doesn’t lend itself to straightforward ideological interpretation. More information might shed some light on what agenda, if any, the shooter had that linked all of the targets, or if there were others. Regardless, the incident is chilling for what it might augur. Assassination remains rare in the United States, but in the past it has spiked at times of acute national tension, including following the Civil War, around the turn of the 20th century, and in the ’60s. In a country as divided and angry as the United States is today, it’s surprising that more assassinations haven’t occurred. Perhaps this one is a sign of what’s to come.

[…]

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/06/political-assassination-wisconsin-judge/661192/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/06/04/wisconsin-judge-killed-targeted-roemer-uhde/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/06/04/wisconsin-judge-killed-targeted-roemer-uhde/

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2022/06/aba-president-statement-re-wisconsin-judge/

UK: How lawyers can help Ukraine

23/05/22

The Law Society has assisted the profession through the upheavals of the last few years by providing, on each occasion, resources for solicitors. It started with Brexit, moved on to the coronavirus pandemic, and now we are at the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Each development has had multiple consequences for the profession. The repercussions from the invasion of Ukraine are several, and still working themselves out: the retreat of law firms from Russia, the storm over SLAPPs (resulting in last week’s Law Society response to the government’s call for evidence), and the current difficulties over sanctions, both in acting for sanctioned individuals and in the possibility that sanctions on providing services to Russia might be extended to include legal services

A common question from lawyers is what they can individually do to help, to avoid looking on helplessly as Russia trashes areas of Ukraine.

Some may want to give money. The Law Society’s webpage refers readers either to the web-page of the Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA), which contains more information, or to major charities running appeals. For those more interested in a benefit in kind, there is a reference to the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

The Ukraine web-page of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) is much more upfront about money. (Most self-respecting bars have Ukraine web-pages these days, usually with an expected statement condemning Russian aggression. The CCBE has even written to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) offering to assist him with his investigation – see more on the investigation below.)

Regarding money, the CCBE says:

‘The Ukrainian National Bar Association has made a call for donations to support the Ukrainian lawyers and their families. The aid will be distributed by the Charity Foundation of the National Bar Association of Ukraine (100% owned by the National Bar Association of Ukraine) to those lawyers who need it the most, including those who have lost their homes, been injured, have no means of subsistence. A Board of Trustees will prepare and publish a report on the use of these funds.’

[…]

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/commentary-and-opinion/how-lawyers-can-help-ukraine/5112582.article

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/2022/ukraine-looks-at-ways-of-excluding-russia-from-un

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2022/05/as-war-rages-in-ukraine-lawyers-consider-genocide-laws/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-61564440

https://unba.org.ua/mizhnarodna-dopomoga-dlya-naau

https://unba.org.ua/news/7434-unba-reports-on-international-charitable-assistance.html

https://en.unba.org.ua/

https://uba.ua/eng/

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2022/05/human-rights-council-adopts-resolution-deteriorating-human-rights-situation

Refugee lawyer describes harrowing invasion of Ukraine

14/04/22

A Ukrainian lawyer described the harrowing scenes she witnessed after the Russian invasion, telling an ABA panel on April 7 that she was forced to flee her country with her three young children and leave behind her husband.

Alesya Pavlynska, an employment lawyer at the Ukrainian firm Arzinger Law, described her shock as the first missiles shook Kyiv in the early hours of Feb. 24.

Her husband, Vitalii Shestak, told her and their three kids—Maria, Ivan and Oles—that they would need to take shelter. Pavlynska showed the panel a picture of her children bundled up in a frigid cellar and huddled around their phones.

“It seemed to be unreal and not possible in the modern world—in modern Europe,” Pavlynska said of the moment it dawned on her the invasion was happening.

More than 4.6 million Ukrainians have fled into Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldava and Romania. The ABA convened the webinar, “Ukraine’s Refugee Crisis: The Faces of War,” to discuss the ongoing crisis and how its members can help.

[…]

ABA President Reginald M. Turner Jr. echoed Pavlynska’s message about the rule of law in remarks prerecorded for the webinar audience, saying the war and crisis had to be viewed through the lens of the “fundamental premise to advance liberty and justice for all.”

“Lawyers believe not in the rule of force, but in the rule of law. We believe that human rights are the bedrock of life and liberty. Our stake in the rule of law compels us to denounce the Russian invasion and rededicate our support of international institutions that promote peace and security,” Turner said.

Advocates urge fast action

Speaking from London, Ukrainian Bar Association President Anna Ogrenchuk said she wants the international community to form a special tribunal to investigate war crimes after documented atrocities in Bucha. Ogrenchuk says it’s likely war crimes have been committed in other parts of the country where the Russian military is present. She urged the American legal community to use its clout to support the tribunal and gather evidence.

“We need your expertise. We need your help in investigating and documenting all war crimes —when the crimes are still been committed,” Ogrenchuk said.

More should also be done to cripple the Russian economy, she added. The UBA has released several open letters, including ones to international companies and businesses operating in Russia and international law firms, legal associations and regulators.

“Every day of war costs Russia about $20 billion, and this money comes from companies who pay taxes in Russia,” Ogrenchuk said. “A full economic embargo is the only alternative to a very long and damaging war in Ukraine.”

There are approximately 60,000 attorneys in Ukraine, and about half of them are women, Ogrenchuk added. She said her bar association estimates that two-thirds of female lawyers have left the country, but women are currently doing the bulk of legal work because many male lawyers have enlisted in the military.

[…]

https://www.abajournal.com/web/article/at-aba-panel-refugee-lawyer-describes-harrowing-invasion-of-ukraine

WEBINAR – Lawyers assist Ukraine – 20 April 2022 at 9.30 CET

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/ukrainian-human-rights-lawyer-on-what-constitutes-genocide/

https://www.facebook.com/UkrainianNationalBarAssociation